Onore designs bring a new edge and classiness to menswear
Francis Palumbo and Giuseppe Novello always knew they wanted to work in fashion, even though they didn’t have a technical background in the field.
“I could not see myself doing anything else,” Novello said in an email interview. “I saw fashion as a manner of expressing my style, my beliefs, my philosophy and my complete outlook on the world.”
Palumbo describes fashion as an outlet that allows people to express themselves in ways that go much further than just spoken words. “Fashion is more of an emotional thing. It’s supposed to make you feel something,” he said.
The two Montrealers chose to team up to start their own clothing brand of menswear, Onore. While Novello said he was purely influenced by his own love of fashion to enter the industry, Palumbo said he felt that there was something missing from what he was seeing other designers produce. “I strongly believe in high quality and I am completely against cheap labor,” said Palumbo. “I want to bring transparency and social consciousness to an industry that believes in cheap labor and cheap clothes, all the while giving people trendy and yet still timeless menswear pieces.”
The duo traveled through both Montreal and New York City in search of inspiration for their first collection. They found themselves drawn to both the poorest and the richest areas in both cities. They developed the theme of their first collection through these travels, which they call “The Rich and Poor.” The duo took inspiration from art, music and architecture in the cities as well.
“Our colors, patterns, trims and fabric all reflect the collection’s theme,” Palumbo said. Balancing two different extremes, in this case, rich and poor, is a formula Onore uses to design their clothes, said Palumbo. They produced 12 separate items for their first collection. The pieces are structured and strong, opting for classic shapes and fits rather than trendy ones. For colours, they chose to stick with dark neutrals, such as blacks, greys and browns, reflecting the darkness of the broken down cities they sought out but also the structure of the upper class counterparts.
The team had a lot on their plate when they launched their first collection. They were in charge of not only designing their products but also marketing them, developing them and starting their own online boutique.
Their second collection is currently in the works. They have begun conceptualizing their theme, though they remained firm on not letting any details slip until they are ready to launch. Their social media accounts and blog will be the first to start releasing bits of the theme. The collection will likely be launched in the summer.
“We definitely hope to have an impact on the fashion industry in Montreal. We hope to bring some life and inspiration to the city,” the designers said in an email. “It is sad to see how our city has struggled to strive in this field. But, we’re determined to represent our city and hopefully revolutionize the perception of Montreal fashion.”
To stay updated on what’s next for Onore, check out their Instagram page, @onorenyc and their website onore.me